Three Quick Ways to Fix Roof Shingles And Metal Flashings
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Knowing the difference between a badly damaged roof and one that just has a few wayward shingles is important. Sometimes the roof has hit the wall and is showing too many signs of aging, while other times it could be a case where something underneath the entire roofing infrastructure needs to be repaired, in which case, you call a contractor.
But, for the quick fixers out there, repairing certain parts of the roof is relatively simple if you have the right tools and know what to look for. Here are three important tips for repairing the roof in an orderly fashion.
1. How To Prep Curled Shingles: The curled effect with damaged shingles, usually asphalt and wood styles, is a warning sign that you’d better get to it before water finds an easy entry point. Fixing curled shingles is all about prep work and tools and picking the right weather to do so. First off, curled-up shingles are easier to flatten out during the warmer months because they aren’t as fragile or susceptible to cracking than the winter months. If you must patch up the shingle in the winter, carefully use a small torch near the edges, letting the heat strengthen and expand the corners down. Once they are straight, use some form of roofing cement or heavy-bonded caulk along each corner to seal the shingle in place. Overall, the key to repairing curled-up shingles is having a keen eye and using the necessary products like caulk or specialized cements to do the rest.
2. Fixing Badly Damaged Shingles: When damages are way beyond curled-up shingles and you need to completely detach a whole section, the process is a bit more complex than the previous one, but it’s still manageable. It’s all about knowing if a section’s been compromised, is drier than others or is obviously cracked and split in multiple directions. To replace sections, it’s important to pry loose the damaged shingles carefully, making sure to get all old nails and protected layers beneath out as well because the new shingles will need all new coating and nails. When you place the new shingle in and for some reason or another, it’s too big and you feel like you’re having to jame folded up corners down, try and smooth off the edges until it slides comfortably into place.
With the shingles in place, make sure there’s no excess roofing cement or caulk protruding from the sides and nail down the shingle, making sure to use 1-3/4” nails for best grip. *To make sure you have the best possible leak guard, it might be good to dab a little cement around the rim of each nail because, hey, every sealed opening matters in the end.*
3. Replacing Metal Flashings: Since you’re proactively replacing or fixing shingles, it’s probably a good idea to make sure the metal flashing strips are in good shape as well. Metal flashing strips run between the corners of the roof or any angle where two parts of the roof meet (also called a roof valley) that might allow more water down. Essentially, the strips act as a fortified slide to direct water towards the gutters quicker than normal. So you can see why any damaged or badly laid shingle around this area could potentially have disastrous consequences with leaking.
Which is why before you lay down the strip, make sure to do a once-over on any loose shingles and draw a line from the top of the roof valley on down to the gutter line for each flashing. After the appropriate lengths have been cut, lay down the strips, making sure to dab some more cement on the metal flashing tips. With the flashings firmly in place, it’s time to add the final layer via more roofing shingles, except this time, you have to be mindful of where the nails go. After you’ve formed each shingle to be laid down, it’s important that you don’t put any nails within 6” or closer to the metal flashing borders. After applying the same roofing cement to these shingles and having properly laid down the strips underneath, it’s time for a well-deserved break from the action.
And that’s a pretty swift example of how to fix individual roofing shingles and/or metal flashings. The important thing to remember is that with every home remodeling project, be it a tiny repair to the roof, declogging of the gutters, replacing brick stones in the chimney or any other project for that matter, it’s better to be proactive, follow the steps and take your time. Because in the end, it might just save you some coin.
About the Author:Kyle is a freelance writer, former contractor and consultant for Roof KC, a local roofing contractor company that deals primarily with roofing repairs, gutter replacement and other exterior remodeling projects.